The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy has been tasked to review all Glencore mining licences and contracts awarded in South Africa after the company was fined more than $1.1 billion (R17 billion) by the US Justice Department for corruption, bribery and commodity price manipulation.
James Lorimer, the Democratic Alliance’s shadow minister for minerals and energy affairs, said the scale and severity of the corrupt practices to which Glencore pled guilty cover a number of African countries such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea.
“We need to make sure that these corrupt practices do not extend to South Africa, and that is why I asked for a revision of all its mining licences and contracts in this country. There is a pattern of corporate behaviour here which is disturbing and we are entitled to know how Glencore conducts itself in this country,” added Lorimer.
The call for further investigations gained traction, with the Africa Energy Chamber calling for the company to be suspended from the Norwegian-based Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
“We find it ironic that EITI, which has campaigned against African countries joining the initiative, still has Glencore as a member – especially if you consider the fact that Glencore’s involvement with EITI began while the company was engaging in the very behavior EITI strives to eradicate,” said the chamber.
The chamber wants Glencore’s dealings in African countries to be examined on a local level, and for those African officials who accepted bribes to be held accountable.
“Investigations should be opened, and Glencore should be forced to come clean about the full extent of its corrupt business dealings, after all Glenore is a member of EITI. Though based on its years of corrupt actions, Glencore should be suspended as an EITI supporting company,” said the chamber.
Glencore has been disinvited from Africa Energy Week, which will be held in Cape Town in October. Two Glencore subsidiaries, Glencore Alloys and Glencore Coal, are members of the Minerals Council of SA, though Council CEO Roger Baxter was reported in saying it could not apply the membership compact to companies not part of the Minerals Council.